Disparity and Demand

By Pedro de Llano, curator in residence, with Babi Badalov, Ricardo Basbaum, Mauro Cerqueira, Loretta Fahrenholz, Loreto Martínez Troncoso, Juan Luis Moraza
24/05/2014 – 12/07/2014

With this exhibition Pedro de Llano, curator in residency continues a season devoted to “forms of affects” and reconciling two spheres–the private and the social–which give form to affects. Here he offers a possible answer to the question Loreto Martinez Troncoso puts (to herself )and (to us) in her work–¿Y para cuándo un cortocircuito entre el corazón y la razón?–and attempts to set up a short circuit between two angles which the preceding exhibitions “Hello Sadness, Desire, Boredom, Appetite, Pleasure” and “Farewell…” explored in turn.


The first of these shows situated the relation to affects within the subject, in expressive, supposedly sincere forms coming from the heart–from Jiri Kovanda’s tears to the observed disclosures of John Smith and Guillaume Désanges; and in stances of solitary artists building their programmes on this near-physical isolation–from Laura Lamiel’s luminous white cell to the coastal landscapes where, one day, Thomas Hirschhorn planted the essentials of his programme.


The second exhibition, by contrast, brought together works starting out from conceptual statements or, at least, from formulated projects whose processes involved participants other than just the artist; this meant a return to unexpected, modified forms sheltering parts of affect. Between the two Laura Lamiel outlined implicitly, within the solid framework of a programme summed up in the title of her exhibition “Essence and Perception”, tiny variations on the everyday work of the artist, in which the forms seem to have been adapted to a lifestyle, in a dimension at once autobiographical and distanced.


There is a temptation here to recast the famous feminist adage of the 1960s, “The personal is political”, as “The affective is political”–a way of underscoring the affective nature of the links that determine the construction of a subject caught between his personal body and the social body he moves in. This exhibition progresses gradually through the different levels where affects are to be found: where they seem most entrenched and elusive, protected by this invisible mélange of tongues linked by a kiss. Juan Luis Moraza has made several mouldings revealing their variety, pinning them down like butterflies. Affects also develop within the privacy of a somewhat loony family whose favourite game is to play dead, and which Loretta Fahrenholz presents with the ambiguity appropriate to the work of an actor playing the part of himself (Ulli Lommel and his family). They are palpable in the remnants of a poor neighbourhood in a crisis-stricken country, remnants Mauro Cerqueira harvests so as to connect them with the life of the residents. They crop up again, on the point of emerging from the interpretations offered by Ricardo Basbaum and the temporary communities generated by his Conversation Pieces. And lastly, affects take on different proportions in what might be the most repressed parts of the “social body”, those that manifest themselves in the linguistic violence of administrative documents aimed at asylum seekers. Proof is to be found in the 13 files Babi Badalov has built up, a combination of his correspondence with government departments and a host of papers collected daily in the street. His Bureaucratic Diaries contain mountains of other files, pretty much the same and equally insuperable.


The works making up the exhibition seem to offer a direct match with their creators’ lifestyles, reducing the boundary between art and life to as fine a line as possible. These are artists we can imagine saying, like Terminator, “Hasta la vista baby!” before shooting straight for the heart and the head and inducing a permanent short-circuit in his interlocutor. This would be a possible–but less sophisticated–alternative to the response provided by this exhibition.


Émilie Renard


Translated by John Tittensor

around the exhibition

  • 24/05/2014

    From 4 pm to 6 pm

    A conversation about “forms of affects” with curator in residence Pedro de Llano, art critic Peio Aguirre and artists Babi Badalov, Mauro Cerqueira and Loreto Martínez Troncoso.

  • 14/06/2014

    Taxi tram

    A bus excursion between the Ile-de-France Photography Centre (CPIF) and La Galerie, centre for contemporary art in Noisy-le-Sec.
    At La Galerie: a tour of the exhibition with artist Babi Badalov.

    6€. Advance booking required: 01 53 19 73 50 or info@tram-idf.fr www.tram-idf.fr

  • 17/06/2014

    From Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 June
    From 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm

    Workshop with Ricardo Basbaum.

    Information : florence.marqueyrol@noisylesec.fr or +33(0)1 49 42 67 17